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AAPI Resource Center officially open

  April 28 marked a historic event for the University of New Mexico’s Asian American and Pacific Islander community with the official opening of the Asian American Pacific Islander Resource Center (colloquially pronounced as ay-perk). The ribbon-cutting ceremony boasted a large turnout of students, community members and notable guests. Although AAPIRC has been open for some time now, this marks one of the first large public events in the space with socializing and lots of tasty food. Farah Nousheen, the Associate Director of AAPIRC, led the ceremony, opening it with a series of warm welcomes.


New Mexico ablaze, wildfire season begins

  Destruction continues throughout the state as the combined Calf Canyon and Hermit’s Peak fires are currently the largest wildfire in the United States, having burned down 103,908 acres of land as of Sunday, May 1. Across New Mexico, there are currently 49 active wildfires as of Sunday, May 1 caused by severe to exceptional drought conditions, a leading cause of the wildfires that have been ablaze since early April, impacting communities and workers across the state working to keep everyone informed and safe. Intense wind conditions and years of drought have rapidly increased the speed at which the fires have grown, according to KOAT. 

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Marginalized communities in Albuquerque, Santa Fe fight environmental racism

 Areas with people of color, low-income residents and immigrants have historically been forced to endure environmental racism around the U.S., but New Mexico locals are fighting against it. Santa Fe’s south side and Albuquerque’s South Valley continue in their efforts against unjust environmental decisions that disproportionately affect marginalized groups. In Santa Fe’s south side, Associated Asphalt and Materials received a permit from the New Mexico Environment Department last summer to consolidate its two plants — located on both sides of Highway 599, north of Airport Road — to only the west side of the highway. 

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UNM Sustainability Expo promotes clean, green local resources

  Sustainability was the topic of discussion at the 12th annual University of New Mexico Sustainability Expo on Thursday, April 21. Fresh farm products, other food and goods for sale drew crowds in as live music drifted across Cornell Mall. At the event hosted by UNM’s Sustainability Studies department, local farmer’s markets and gardens provided students with different resources and tips to promote a more sustainable lifestyle and live demonstrations taught attendees about the ecosystem in New Mexico. “The event provides the University community with an opportunity to support local and sustainable small businesses,” ABQ Stew, a UNM Sustainability Studies blog, reported.

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New Mexico Wild calls for audit of inactive wells

  The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, a group that advocates for the conservation of wild land, issued a letter on March 17 that called on the Bureau of Land Management to conduct a formal audit of inactive wells on federal land. “What we're looking for with the audit is for BLM to actually do a full analysis of how many (of) what we call orphaned or abandoned wells really do exist on BLM lands in New Mexico,” NM Wild staff attorney Logan Glasenapp said. Glasenapp said the group wrote the letter asking for the audit right now because the acting state director for the Bureau of Land Management, Melanie Barnes, has a background in biology as opposed to a background in the fossil fuel industry, as prior directors have had. 

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New Mexico enacts community solar, commits to energy equity

  More New Mexicans can now opt in to using renewable energy to power their homes after a year of rulemaking done by the Public Regulation Commission. The new Community Solar Rule will mandate that 30% of the electricity produced by shared solar facilities be distributed to low-income communities and the organizations that support them. Individuals who may benefit from this rule include those who qualify for Medicaid or food assistance programs. It also doesn’t limit solar energy options for those who rent the property they live on or for those who live in government-funded housing. Eligible service organizations may include places like homeless shelters or food pantries.

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UNM teach-in, benefit concert to be held in solidarity with Ukraine

  A teach-in and benefit concert to stand in solidarity with Ukraine will be held at the University of New Mexico’s Rodey Theater on Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m. This event, which is a personal choice of entry for free or by donation, will feature musicians as well as activists, and all proceeds raised will go toward Ukrainian refugee relief efforts. Vitaliy Osmolovsky, an activist and grassroots organizer, will be joining from Poland via Zoom for the event. All funds raised will go to his organizing efforts, for which he has a supply list that addresses many different needs, some of which are for physical and mental health aid.

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Individuals with disabilities struggle at UNM amid ineffective ADA accessibility measures

  Over 30 years have passed since the Americans with Disabilities Act was first signed into law in the U.S. by former President George Bush. While the Act was a step forward for addressing accessibility issues, students and staff with disabilities at the University of New Mexico still face mobility issues due to ADA standards for historically significant buildings as well as construction and maintenance. Any building that was built before March 14, 2012 is not required to comply with the 2010 ADA revised codes, titled the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, and are only required to bring the building up to code if they are planning a major renovation, according to Disability Rights New Mexico coordinator Bernadine Chavez. 

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Physical, mental benefits of cannabis amid stigmatized industry

  Despite a long list of positive effects, cannabis use still remains a taboo subject for some. While medical cannabis was legalized over a decade ago in New Mexico, recreational marijuana was only legalized last summer with retail sales having started on Friday, April 1. Jacob Vigil, associate professor in the University of New Mexico psychology department, and Sarah Stith, associate professor in economics, are married and have done both joint and separate research on cannabis specifically. Through this, they have found that it’s largely more beneficial than a lot of people think and believe it should be normalized in society.

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Cannabusiness unfolds in New Mexico

  Recreational cannabis storefronts opened on Friday, April 1, a year after the legislation was passed in the roundhouse in Santa Fe during the special session to legalize recreational cannabis. The bill allows anyone 21 and over in the state to purchase 2 oz (about 57 grams) of cannabis flower, 16 grams of extract and 800 mg of edibles at one time.  Many of the dispensaries in the state that are now able to start recreational sales were strictly medical prior to the new legislation and had to acquire a new license in the past year. 

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The politics, impacts of legalized recreational cannabis and sales

  New Mexico is one of the most recent states to legalize cannabis recreationally, jumping on the bandwagon as the 17th state to legalize out of 18 so far. This recent move stems from decades-old political movements and increased acceptance of the drug on a local and national level. “I think over time, the science has evolved in a way and our attitudes have evolved in a way that (has) created political openings for legalizing marijuana at the state level … Legalization of marijuana has become a fairly popular thing,” said Timothy Krebs, University of New Mexico professor and department chair of political science.

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Family of community member killed by APD continues fight for justice

  Two years after the death of Valente Acosta-Bustillos, family members and community activists gathered together for a press conference on the morning of Wednesday, March 30 as well as a vigil later in the day to continue to call for the reopening of the investigation into Acosta-Bustillos’ death at the hands of two Albuquerque Police Department officers. Officers Joseph Bush and Edgar Sandoval were called for a wellness check on March 30, 2020 when Sandoval shot and killed Acosta-Bustillos in his own home following the discovery that Acosta-Bustillos had an outstanding warrant. 

GPSA Candidates

7 candidates vie for GPSA president

  Presidential elections for the University of New Mexico’s Graduate and Professional Student Association are being held from Monday, March 28 to Friday, April 1. On Tuesday, March 22, the seven presidential candidates — which are listed in ballot order in this article — met for an online forum highlighting their various platforms with goals ranging from better wages and benefits to equity to outreach and engagement. No. 1: Paul J. Tice Engineering student Paul Tice is running on the platform of Peace Engineering, which “works towards a world where prosperity, sustainability, social equity, entrepreneurship, transparency, community voice and engagement, and a culture of quality thrive,” according to UNM Newsroom.


Incoming ASUNM president, vice president to focus on student outreach

  The unofficial results from the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico election were announced on Wednesday, March 9 with Ian May and Krystah Pacheco winning the president and vice president positions, respectively. In their campaign, May and Pacheco focused heavily on student outreach, which reflects their future goals as well. Many initiatives in May and Pacheco’s campaign came not just from themselves but from conversations with students and student organizations about what they wanted to see in their next undergraduate student leadership.  “The biggest thing is visibility. During our campaign time (approximately) a third of students didn’t even know what ASUNM was, and especially I think it’s really important we have that presence on campus,” Pacheco said. 

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Immunocompromised community and advocates speak out against end of UNM mask mandate

  Since University of New Mexico President Garnett Stokes announced the March 19 expiration of UNM’s indoor mask mandate at a majority of campuses and locations, members of the UNM community who are or who advocate for those who are immunocompromised are raising concerns that their safety was not taken into consideration in the decision-making process. Soph Colson, a UNM student on medical leave and a member of Crip Lib, a disability advocacy group on campus, said she feels dropping the mask mandate is dangerous to disabled students. 


May, Pacheco take narrow win for ASUNM president, vice president

The unofficial results for this year’s close two-way race for the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico president and vice president were released on Wednesday, March 2 with students Ian May and Krystah Pacheco coming out on top as the next ASUNM president and vice president, respectively. Changes to the ASUNM Constitution were also included in the vote and easily passed. These results will remain unofficial until fully ratified by the Election Committee. Only 817 votes were cast in total, a minuscule percentage of the over 15,000 undergraduate students that were eligible to vote in the online elections held from March 7-9. This is similar to the 874 voters last year, just 5.2% of the then 16,662 eligible undergraduates. 

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Rally for women’s rights held on UNM campus

The Party for Socialism and Liberation, along with Students for Socialism, Answer Coalition, and the People’s Housing Project, held a rally to support women's rights issues on Tuesday, March 8 in front of the University of New Mexico bookstore. The rally coincided with this year’s International Women’s Day. The primary focus of the rally was abortion rights. One of the event’s organizers, Margaux Lopez, a member of the party for Socialism and Liberation, shed light on the effect of abortion bans on the transgender and nonbinary community and the difficulties that members in these communities face in relation to reproductive health services.

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Daily Lobo participates in student newsroom fundraising competition

The University of New Mexico’s student-run newsroom, the Daily Lobo, is competing in College Media Madness, a fundraising competition among student newsrooms across the nation, for the second year in a row. Donations can be made to the Jim Fisher Fund, which will go directly to the Daily Lobo, here from the start of the competition on Sunday, March 13 until the competition ends on April 6. The College Media Madness fundraiser was created by the University of Syracuse’s independent newspaper, the Daily Orange. The fundraiser raised over $96,000 last year from over 1,000 individual donations, and the Daily Lobo raised just under $1,500.  

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UNM indoor mask mandate to end next week

The University of New Mexico will forgo its indoor mask mandate starting Saturday, March 19. UNM President Garnett Stokes announced this intent on Tuesday, March 8, which will apply to all branches except Gallup as well as at locations with health-related services and on public transportation. This decision removes masking regulations at branches in counties deemed as low-risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — which include all but the Gallup location — and within most school facilities. The north campus and Rio Rancho campus Health Sciences Center academic and research facilities will keep the mask mandate.


UNM professors answer questions about Russia-Ukraine conflict

UNM professors gathered at Clark Hall via Zoom and in person on Thursday, March 3 to host a teach-in to discuss the ongoing war in Ukraine. The professors offered their perspectives as experts in their respective historical, political and linguistic fields and   spoke on the issue through a question and answer panel. The current conflict began on Feb. 24 when Russia began a military invasion in Ukraine. Ukrainian forces have continued to fight back against the ongoing Russian invasion. The format of the panel was structured with a moderator who asked specific questions for the panelists, ranging from explaining the conflict and why it is unfolding to more of the historical and cultural context of the situation. 

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